“There are no nations. There are no peoples … There is only IBM and ITT and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable by-laws of business.” — Network (1976)
There are those who will tell you that any mention of a New World Order government — a power elite conspiring to rule the world — is the stuff of conspiracy theories.
I am not one of those skeptics.
What’s more, I wholeheartedly believe that one should always mistrust those in power, take alarm at the first encroachment on one’s liberties, and establish powerful constitutional checks against government mischief and abuse.
I can also attest to the fact that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
I have studied enough of this country’s history — and world history — to know that governments (the U.S. government being no exception) are at times indistinguishable from the evil they claim to be fighting, whether that evil takes the form of terrorism, torture, drug trafficking, sex trafficking, murder, violence, theft, pornography, scientific experimentations or some other diabolical means of inflicting pain, suffering and servitude on humanity.
And I have lived long enough to see many so-called conspiracy theories turn into cold, hard fact.
Remember, people used to scoff at the notion of a Deep State (a.k.a. Shadow Government), doubt that fascism could ever take hold in America, and sneer at any suggestion that the United States was starting to resemble Nazi Germany in the years leading up to Hitler’s rise to power.
We’re beginning to know better, aren’t we?
The Deep State (“a national-security apparatus that holds sway even over the elected leaders notionally in charge of it”) is real.
We are already experiencing fascism, American-style.
Not with jackboots and salutes, as Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution notes, “but with a television huckster, a phony billionaire, a textbook egomaniac ‘tapping into’ popular resentments and insecurities, and with an entire national political party — out of ambition or blind party loyalty, or simply out of fear — falling into line behind him.”
And the United States is increasingly following in Nazi Germany’s footsteps, at least in the years leading up to Hitler’s rise to power.
Given all that we know about the U.S. government — that it treats its citizens like faceless statistics and economic units to be bought, sold, bartered, traded, and tracked; that it repeatedly lies, cheats, steals, spies, kills, maims, enslaves, breaks the laws, overreaches its authority, and abuses its power at almost every turn; and that it wages wars for profit, jails its own people for profit, and has no qualms about spreading its reign of terror abroad — it is not a stretch to suggest that the government has been overtaken by global industrialists, a new world order, that do not have our best interests at heart.
Indeed, to anyone who’s been paying attention to the goings-on in the world, it is increasingly obvious that we’re already under a new world order, and it is being brought to you by the Global-Industrial Deep State, a powerful cabal made up of international government agencies and corporations.
It is as yet unclear whether the American Police State answers to the Global-Industrial Deep State, or whether the Global-Industrial Deep State merely empowers the American Police State.
However, there is no denying the extent to which they are intricately and symbiotically enmeshed and interlocked.
This marriage of governmental and corporate interests is the very definition of fascism.
Where we go wrong is in underestimating the threat of fascism: it is no longer a national threat but has instead become a global menace.
Consider the extent to which our lives and liberties are impacted by this international convergence of governmental and profit-driven interests in the surveillance state, the military industrial complex, the private prison industry, the intelligence sector, the technology sector, the telecommunications sector, the transportation sector, and the pharmaceutical industry.
All of these sectors are dominated by mega-corporations operating on a global scale and working through government channels to increase their profit margins:
Walmart, Alphabet (formerly Google), AT&T, Toyota, Apple, Exxon Mobil, Facebook, Lockheed Martin, Berkshire Hathaway, UnitedHealth Group, Samsung, Amazon, Verizon, Nissan, Boeing, Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, Citigroup… these are just a few of the global corporate giants whose profit-driven policies influence everything from legislative policies to economics to environmental issues to medical care.
The U.S. government’s deep-seated and, in many cases, top secret alliances with foreign nations and global corporations are redrawing the boundaries of our world (and our freedoms) and altering the playing field faster than we can keep up.
Spearheaded by the National Security Agency (NSA), which has shown itself to care little for constitutional limits or privacy, the surveillance state has come to dominate our government and our lives.
Yet the government does not operate alone.
It requires an accomplice.
Thus, the increasingly complex security needs of our massive federal government, especially in the areas of defense, surveillance and data management, have been met within the corporate sector, which has shown itself to be a powerful ally that both depends on and feeds the growth of governmental bureaucracy.
Take AT&T, for instance. Through its vast telecommunications network that crisscrosses the globe, AT&T provides the U.S. government with the complex infrastructure it needs for its mass surveillance programs.
According to The Intercept, “The NSA considers AT&T to be one of its most trusted partners and has lauded the company’s ‘extreme willingness to help.’It is a collaboration that dates back decades.
Little known, however, is that its scope is not restricted to AT&T’s customers.
According to the NSA’s documents, it values AT&T not only because it ‘has access to information that transits the nation,’ but also because it maintains unique relationships with other phone and internet providers.
The NSA exploits these relationships for surveillance purposes, commandeering AT&T’s massive infrastructure and using it as a platform to covertly tap into communications processed by other companies.”
Now magnify what the U.S. government is doing through AT&T on a global scale, and you have the “14 Eyes Program,” also referred to as the “SIGINT Seniors.”
This global spy agency is made up of members from around the world (United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Spain, Israel, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, India and all British Overseas Territories).
Surveillance is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to these global alliances, however.
Global War Profiteering
War has become a huge money-making venture, and America, with its vast military empire and its incestuous relationship with a host of international defense contractors, is one of its best buyers and sellers.
In fact, as Reuters reports, “[President] Trump has gone further than any of his predecessors to act as a salesman for the U.S. defense industry.”
The American military-industrial complex has erected an empire unsurpassed in history in its breadth and scope, one dedicated to conducting perpetual warfare throughout the earth.
For example, while erecting a security surveillance state in the U.S., the military-industrial complex has perpetuated a worldwide military empire with American troops stationed in 177 countries (over 70% of the countries worldwide).
Although the federal government obscures so much about its defense spending that accurate figures are difficult to procure, we do know that since 2001, the U.S. government has spent more than $1.8 trillion in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq (that’s $8.3 million per hour).
That doesn’t include wars and military exercises waged around the globe, which are expected to push the total bill upwards of $12 trillion by 2053.
The illicit merger of the global armaments industry and the Pentagon that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us against more than 50 years ago has come to represent perhaps the greatest threat to the nation’s fragile infrastructure today.
America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour) — and that’s just what the government spends on foreign wars. That does not include the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the globe.
Incredibly, although the U.S. constitutes only 5% of the world’s population, America boasts almost 50% of the world’s total military expenditure, spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined.
In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. There’s a good reason why “bloated,” “corrupt” and “inefficient” are among the words most commonly applied to the government, especially the Department of Defense and its contractors.
Price gouging has become an accepted form of corruption within the American military empire.
It’s not just the American economy that is being gouged, unfortunately.
Driven by a greedy defense sector, the American homeland has been transformed into a battlefield with militarized police and weapons better suited to a war zone.
Trump, no different from his predecessors, has continued to expand America’s military empire abroad and domestically, calling on Congress to approve billions more to hire cops, build more prisons and wage more profit-driven war-on-drugs/ war-on-terrorism/ war-on-crime programs that pander to the powerful money interests (military, corporate and security) that run the Deep State and hold the government in its clutches.
Glance at pictures of international police forces and you will have a hard time distinguishing between American police and those belonging to other nations.
There’s a reason they all look alike, garbed in the militarized, weaponized uniform of a standing army.
There’s a reason why they act alike, too, and speak a common language of force.
For example, Israel — one of America’s closest international allies and one of the primary yearly recipients of more than $3 billion in U.S. foreign military aid — has been at the forefront of a little-publicized exchange program aimed at training American police to act as occupying forces in their communities.
As The Intercept sums it up, American police are “essentially taking lessons from agencies that enforce military rule rather than civil law.”
Then you have the Strong Cities Network program. Funded by the State Department, the U.S. government has partnered with the United Nations to fight violent extremism “in all of its forms and manifestations” in cities and communities across the world.
Working with the UN, the federal government rolled out programs to train local police agencies across America in how to identify, fight and prevent extremism, as well as address intolerance within their communities, using all of the resources at their disposal.
The cities included in the global network include New York City, Atlanta, Denver, Minneapolis, Paris, London, Montreal, Beirut and Oslo.
What this program is really all about, however, is community policing on a global scale.
Community policing, which relies on a “broken windows” theory of policing, calls for police to engage with the community in order to prevent local crime by interrupting or preventing minor offenses before they could snowball into bigger, more serious and perhaps violent crime.
It sounds like a good idea on paper, but the problem with the broken windows approach is that it has led to zero tolerance policing and stop-and-frisk practices among other harsh police tactics.
When applied to the Strong Cities Network program, the objective is ostensibly to prevent violent extremism by targeting its source: racism, bigotry, hatred, intolerance, etc.
In other words, police — acting ostensibly as extensions of the United Nations — will identify, monitor and deter individuals who exhibit, express or engage in anything that could be construed as extremist.
Of course, the concern with the government’s anti-extremism program is that it will, in many cases, be utilized to render otherwise lawful, nonviolent activities as potentially extremist.
Keep in mind that the government agencies involved in ferreting out American “extremists” will carry out their objectives—to identify and deter potential extremists—in concert with fusion centers (of which there are 78 nationwide, with partners in the private sector and globally), data collection agencies, behavioral scientists, corporations, social media, and community organizers and by relying on cutting-edge technology for surveillance, facial recognition, predictive policing, biometrics, and behavioral epigenetics (in which life experiences alter one’s genetic makeup).
This is pre-crime on an ideological scale and it’s been a long time coming.
Are you starting to get the picture now?
We’re the sitting ducks in the government’s crosshairs.
On almost every front, whether it’s the war on drugs, or the sale of weapons, or regulating immigration, or establishing prisons, or advancing technology, if there is a profit to be made and power to be amassed, you can bet that the government and its global partners have already struck a deal that puts the American people on the losing end of the bargain.
Unless we can put the brakes on this dramatic expansion, globalization and merger of governmental and corporate powers, we’re not going to recognize this country 20 years from now.
It’s taken less than a generation for our freedoms to be eroded and the police state structure to be erected, expanded and entrenched.
Rest assured that the U.S. government will not save us from the chains of the global police state.
The current or future occupant of the White House will not save us.
For that matter, anarchy, violence and incivility will not save us.
Unfortunately, the government’s divide and conquer tactics are working like a charm.
Despite the laundry list of grievances that should unite “we the people” in common cause against the government, the nation is more divided than ever by politics, by socio-economics, by race, by religion, and by every other distinction that serves to highlight our differences.
The real and manufactured events of recent years — the invasive surveillance, the extremism reports, the civil unrest, the protests, the shootings, the bombings, the military exercises and active shooter drills, the color-coded alerts and threat assessments, the fusion centers, the transformation of local police into extensions of the military, the distribution of military equipment and weapons to local police forces, the government databases containing the names of dissidents and potential troublemakers — have all conjoined to create an environment in which “we the people” are more divided, more distrustful, and fearful of each other.
What we have failed to realize is that in the eyes of the government, we’re all the same.
In other words, when it’s time for the government to crack down — and that time is coming — it won’t matter whether we voted Republican or Democrat, whether we marched on Washington or stayed home, or whether we spoke out against government misconduct and injustice or remained silent.
If there is to be any hope of freeing ourselves, it rests — as it always has — at the local level, with you and your fellow citizens taking part in grassroots activism, which takes a trickle-up approach to governmental reform by implementing change at the local level.
One of the most important contributions an individual citizen can make is to become actively involved in local community affairs, politics and legal battles.
As the adage goes, “Think globally, act locally.”
America was meant to be primarily a system of local governments, which is a far cry from the colossal federal bureaucracy we have today.
Yet if our freedoms are to be restored, understanding what is transpiring practically in your own backyard—in one’s home, neighborhood, school district, town council—and taking action at that local level must be the starting point.
Responding to unmet local needs and reacting to injustices is what grassroots activism is all about.
Attend local city council meetings, speak up at town hall meetings, organize protests and letter-writing campaigns, employ “militant nonviolent resistance” and civil disobedience, which Martin Luther King Jr. used to great effect through the use of sit-ins, boycotts and marches.
And then, as I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, if there is any means left to us for thwarting the government in its relentless march towards outright dictatorship, it may rest with the power of communities and local governments to invalidate governmental laws, tactics and policies that are illegitimate, egregious or blatantly unconstitutional.
Nullify the court cases. Nullify the laws. Nullify everything the government does that flies in the face of the principles on which this nation was founded.
We could transform this nation if only Americans would work together to harness the power of their discontent.
By John W. Whitehead — Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People. Whitehead can be contacted at [email protected]